UCI Gran Fondo rider Loretta Stringer qualified for the Gran Fondo World Championships at Spinney’s Dubai 92 Gran Fondo in November, winning the women’s 55-59 road race.

She planned to travel from her home in Dubai half-way around the world to race in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship taking place in Vancouver, Canada in September.

Then COVID-19 arrived, the world went on lock down and the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship was cancelled.

Stringer expected the Vancouver race promoter, RBC GranFondo, to do the right thing and refund her entry fee – $330 CAN.

She was disappointed, very disappointed when they did nothing of the sort. “They have made it abundantly clear they are not willing to do any refunds,” Stringer told Vancouver 1130 News.

Stringer was directed to the event’s refund policy that states registered World Championship riders would be transferred to the 2021 or 2022 RBC Whistler GranFondo, while entries for the companion UCI World Championship Time Trial race would receive a refund.

Since the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship is taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2021 and then Italy in 2022, the transfer of Stringer’s entry to a future RBC Whistler GranFondo is of little value to her.

She contacted UCI Gran Fondo World Series coordinator (and 3x World Cyclocross Champion) Erwin Vervecken for help.

Vercecken agreed that RBC GranFondo should issue refunds since the UCI World Championship races (Gran Fondo and Time Trial) were separate from the RBC Whistler GranFondo.

“The UCI license fee hasn’t been paid and the organizer must refund all registration fees and the extra services riders ordered,” Vervecken emailed Stringer.  “We have urged the organizer to do so, but so far he has only refunded the time trial registrations.”

Adding, “this doesn’t make sense. [RBC GranFondo] has to refund you.”

Gran Fondo Daily News has published several stories on less-than-honorable promoters, including L’Etape and Velo Birmingham, that have not refunded entry fees due to COVID-19 cancellation.

Seems RBC GranFondo has now joined that club.

Worldwide Gran Fondo Calendar  – updated daily